Tag for "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things."
I don't own Supernatural, but I'm addicted to reviews.
"Let's go get your hand looked at."
Dean shrugged Sam's hand off his shoulder and handed him the keys, and then moved to get in the passenger seat without another word. Sam watched him as he walked...it was like the weight of the world was on his back. Seeing the slow, tired, hopeless movements, Sam couldn't help but feel the wrongness of it. Dean, his heroic big brother, should never look like that.
Dad's dead because of me.
I was dead, and I should have stayed dead.
Sam, for his part, hated himself pretty thoroughly at that moment. He had been pressing Dean for weeks to open up and accept help. Now that the time had come, Sam had nothing to give. Dean was right; there was nothing that he could say that would ease Dean's grief. He was supposed to be the eloquent one, the one who could smooth things over when they got bad, and the one to heal his brother when no one else could.
But he was failing miserably at all of that right now.
What could you possibly say to make that alright?
Sam slid into the driver's seat, looking over at Dean's slumped form as he did so. Dean didn't acknowledge the action, didn't acknowledge anything, really, just stared forlornly out the window at the scenery. Sam desperately wanted to say something, anything, that would make this better, but he was still speechless. He had wanted Dean to open up so badly, but now that what was bothering him was out in the open it was too much for either of them.
So, after a moment of hesitation over driving one-handed, he started the car. Sam didn't ask for any further direction from Dean, and Dean didn't offer any. After a few minutes checking the atlas in the pocket of the door, he left the highway and pulled into the first hospital that he could find. Dean didn't object; he just stared off into space.
Sam grabbed one of the fake credit cards and matching ID out of the glove compartment before getting out of the car. It was a little harder than usual, trying to reach over with his left hand, and he had to lean into Dean's personal space to accomplish it. Dean didn't react, just watched the movement blandly from the passenger side.
The lack of interaction between them since leaving the ER a few hours earlier was beginning to bother Sam. Dean's last words had been a half-hearted offer to drive, which Sam declined, stating that his hand wasn't hurting much. It was a lie, of course, his hand was killing him…even more now that the cast encased it, but Sam wanted to try and give Dean a break.
It didn't take long to get the room, but when he got back, Dean appeared to be asleep. It was a little early, but they'd had a long night of zombie killing and resetting the dirt over the grave. Deciding not to disturb Dean just yet, he got back in and drove around to a spot right in front of their room.
When he parked again, he looked over at his brother and gently touched his shoulder. Startled by the contact, Dean looked over at him sharply, but after a moment comprehension dawned and he merely nodded. They got out together and moved to the trunk. They didn't speak, but Dean grabbed both their bags before Sam could reach out for them. Sam silently thanked him for sparing his hand any further abuse.
Once inside, Dean didn't bother to unpack more than a handful of items and wordlessly shrugged out of his clothes on the way into the bathroom. A few moments later, Sam heard the shower turn on. He stared at the bathroom door for a few moments, trying to form a coherent thought. He was getting tired of failing. His brother needed him.
He needed to talk to Dean, tell him that Dad's death wasn't his fault...but whenever Dean was in the room, Sam just couldn't speak. It didn't make any sense. It was like Dean was sucking up all the air in the room, leaving Sam just struggling to breathe.
What could you possibly say to make that alright?
What could he say indeed? What could anybody say that wouldn't sound lame or worse insulting to both Dad and Dean?
He pulled his handgun out of his bag and placed it under his pillow. Ever since the confrontation with the demon, he'd been sleeping with a weapon, the same way that Dean slept with his knife. Not that a regular gun would make much of a difference...but he was fairly sure even a demon couldn't function without a head, so precaution won over doubt. He was laying salt rings around the doors and windows when he heard the shower shut off.
Sam was fumbling left-handed with the Advil bottle from their first aid kit when Dean emerged from the bathroom and pulled a T-shirt over his head. Sam glanced up at him, but didn't have a chance to find something to say before Dean quietly spoke.
"You need help with that?"
Sam smiled sheepishly. The bottle was being difficult, and he gladly handed it over for Dean to open. Dean had a little trouble with it as well, and that gave Sam a few minutes to examine him up close. He looked tired, or maybe weary was a better word for it. Sam's thoughts drifted back to Dean while he waited.
There are people that I would give anything to see again…
Dad's dead because of me…
I was dead, and I should have stayed dead….
He didn't notice that Dean had finally succeeded in opening the recalcitrant bottle and was holding it out to him expectantly. Dean was frowning, and might have been saying his name. The words rushed out before he could stop them.
"You weren't dead…."
Sam couldn't move, couldn't meet Dean's eyes…and worse, he realized that this conversation that he had just unintentionally started might end up with him getting punched again.
Dean, for his part, froze at the words.
"What?" he muttered quietly.
Well, no going back now… Sam thought grimly before plunging in. "You weren't dead…you said before that you were dead and shouldn't have come back…you weren't dead." He still didn't look up.
The eruption of anger at Sam splitting hairs never came. Instead, a small, sad smile graced Dean's features, "It doesn't matter. I shouldn't have woken up. It wasn't natural."
Sam fought back his own tears this time, "It matters to me."
Dean shook his head in quick denial, "No, Sammy…" he sighed, "I didn't mean it like that…I mean…I know…." He sighed again and dropped down onto the edge of the bed with his head in his hands. Sam popped the two pills he had gotten out and swallowed them with a gulp from his water bottle, then sank onto the bed beside his brother, close enough so that their legs touched.
"He should have found a better way…" Sam began, feeling the words begin to tumble out now after an afternoon of near silence, "I don't know why he thought the demon…why he thought that was the only way. I wished he'd talked to me first…maybe we could have figured something out together---"
"Not his style," Dean interjected with a bittersweet expression on his face.
Sam glanced at him with a half-hearted smirk, "Yeah, well…Dad's style sucked."
Dean's bittersweet smile grew slightly, "Heh. Yeah…sometimes…."
They sat quietly for a moment, until Sam looked over at Dean, looking at him directly for the first time since that afternoon, "You know…if this was his only option…if he hadn't done it, I probably would have."
Dean looked up sharply at him, "No. Sam…not for me…."
Sam snorted as if it were funny, but there was no humor in the sound, "If not for you, then who?"
"Dean…I owe you everything…everything…I would have switched places with you in a heartbeat. Why wouldn't I?"
"Because I wouldn't want you to, Sam," was the quiet reply.
Sam chuckled, the moment bringing with it an unexpected swell of humor, "Heh. Well, I wouldn't have asked your permission."
It brought a smile to Dean's face, as he'd hoped, "Bitch. Never could follow orders. Such a pain in the ass…I don't know why I keep you around."
"'Cause you need someone to drive while you sleep," letting the conversation fall back into their normal banter for Dean's sake. After a day of seeing Dean so raw and vulnerable, he almost wanted to see the familiar mask in place again. Not so much for himself, but so Dean could rest behind it. If only for a little while.
"Oh, yeah. That must be it," Dean answered with mock seriousness.
They fell silent again, but this time the silence was less oppressive. Sam watched Dean's jaw muscles work, a sure sign that he was trying to get his emotions under control. Sam was about to get up and let him recover himself when an arm snaked out and wrapped firmly around the younger man's shoulders. Surprised by the rare physical display, Sam settled back and let Dean hold on to him. This he could do. He could be a lifeline for his brother. Lord knows he's been mine often enough….
They sat a little while longer, just sitting…not doing anything, until Dean turned his head and nodded to Sam's cast, "How's the hand?"
Sam grimaced, "The pills are kicking in…it's gone from a sharp throbbing pain to a dull throbbing pain."
Dean's familiar smirk appeared, "Well…that's improvement, right?"
Sam shrugged, "Starting to itch like crazy too…" his eyes moved over the nightstand, "Hey, hand me that pencil."
Dean's eyes followed Sam's, and then returned, "What? Why?"
"I've seen people on TV do this…use a pencil to scratch under the cast…."
He saw Dean frown, reach over at get the pencil, but then stop just before handing it over. Sam recognized the look that crept onto Dean's face as he glanced from the pencil to Sam and back. It was trouble. Sam reached for it, but the arm over his shoulders held him back and Dean waggled the pencil tauntingly.
"Uh-uh, Sammy…you get the pencil when you tell me something."
"What?" Sam asked, confused.
"What were you watching the other day when I walked in on you?"
Sam felt his face flush, "Hmm? Oh. Um...nothing. The news."
"Dude, give me the pencil."
He sighed, "Fine. Keep the pencil."
Dean's smirk grew into a grin, "Pouting isn't gonna work this time, Sammy. Tell me and you get the pencil."
Sam sighed dramatically. He looked around. The pencil was the only thing in the room right now small enough to fit under the cast…and the other pencils and pens were in the car. And his hand was itching worse now that he was thinking about it. It was driving him nuts. Biting his lip, he looked at Dean's smug expression and knew that Dean realized the current importance of the writing utensil too.
"Um…Casa Erotica 4…."
Dean lit up, "Ooh, I know that one…man those two Latin girls are sooo hot---"
"Can I have the pencil now?" Sam asked impatiently.
"Okay, okay...fine, here," he handed it over, "you little perv."
Sam started scratching and relished the feeling of relief, "Thank you," he drawled.
Dean eyed him critically, "So…did the zombie break your hand, or was it a…TV related injury?"
"Did you ask the guy at the desk if this room gets the Skin Channel?"
Dean sighed in amusement, feigning thoughtfulness, "How did I ever raise such a little closet perv?"
"Takes one to know one…."
"Oh, that's mature, Sammy."
Dean grew quiet, "Thanks Sam."
"You know…for whatever…."
Sam looked up, seeing the sad expression settling back onto Dean's face, "I wish Dad had found another way."
Dean glanced briefly over at him, his arm tightened over Sam's shoulders slightly, "Me too."